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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 21, 2009 11:00am-1:00pm EDT

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>> they now have room for them. a transitional wing for the older children with its own living space and kitchen. i'm betty nguyen. "cnn newsroom" continues with my friend tony harris. >> thank you. it is friday, the 21st of august and here are the top stories for you in the "cnn newsroom." the president heads on vacation today, but with or without his reform mojo. car dealerships bracing for a hectic weekend. the government will put the cash for clunkers rebate program in park monday night. one of the last weekends of summer vacation season and how about this, hurricane bill whips up dangerous rip currents for the east coast. good morning, everyone. i'm tony hairs and you're in the "cnn newsroom." president obama gets a
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private consultation on health care reform. the president is meeting this is hour with tom daschle, his original choice to lead the push for a health care overhaul. the meeting follows a week of maneuvering and political back and forth and kate baldwin live from the white house floor. great to see you, the president getting ready to leave on vacation, but is taking every opportunity, it seems, to talk health care this morning. >> absolutely. hey, there, tony. well, the president this morning, you basically hit the nail on the head. he is trying to move the debate forward on the health care reform issue. this morning, this hour, meeting with former senate majority leader tom daschle, the president's first choice to head up the department of health and human services, a long-time supporter of health care reform. daschle remains an unofficial adviser to, an informal adviser to the white house on many issues. that, this meeting will be closed to the press, but also on the agenda today, as usual, the
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daily white house briefing where you will be sure more questions on where things stand in the health care debate. they will be being asked today. and one of the major sticking points, tony, continues to be the issue of the public option. listen here to the president making the pitch for this public option at yesterday's town hall. >> this is sort of like the belt and suspenders concept to keep up your pants. you know, the insurance reforms are the belt. the public option can be the suspenders. and what we're trying to just suggest to people is that all these things are important. and that if the debate ends up being focused on just one aspect of it, then we're missing the boat. >> now, the administration says that this public option is preferred, but not mandatory. that statement, that stance is getting a lot of attention, conservatives, as you know,
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tony. almost all of them, if not all, are very strongly opposed to a public option being included in any health care reform, but the president also faces some challenges trying to keep members of his own party in line in support of him because liberals, they really want a stronger stance, a stronger commitment on this issue. they would like to see a public option be a required element in any legislation. clearly, still a fine line. the president and the administration is needing to walk in order to appeal to both sides of this debate as the president heads out of town. >> kate, one more quick one for you. you mention the president is leaving for vacation, but before he goes, he'll make a statement this morning, actually, i think this afternoon it has been moved a bit. what is he likely to talk about? >> the president before he heads off to camp david, he will be talking about the recent elections in afghanistan. we haven't really heard, we heard one very short statement from the president during when he was being interviewed on talk radio yesterday, but not much from the president on this issue. press secretary robert gibbs
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during the briefing yesterday did say that the president is enormously proud of the afghanis that turned out to vote and expect to hear more from the president this afternoon on that. >> kate baldwin, good to see you, thank you. you know, this has been a tumulltuous week. so what now? joining us to talk about where the debate stands right now. mike allen, the chief white house correspondent for politico, mike, as always, good to talk to you. we mentioned just a moment ago that the president is meeting with former senator tom daschle. can the former senator help the president and, if so, how? >> well, sure. you know, he was originally going to be in charge of this effort bringing a little heft and loft to health care reform, which is something that is needed. the president has not been able to elevate it above the sort of give and take of washington where it has dragged it down. now, the white house is convinced that if the president can reach normal people out in
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america, make them realize the ultimate goal here to take it beyond this committee or that committee that he'll get strong support. that's proven tough to do. >> mike, you mentioned that the president had difficult time lifting the debate above all the noise we heard so far in august the suggestion has been that this is something of a lost summer for the president. because of the got has been bogged down on health care. is that your view? >> well, they have. the problem was that things got off too slowly and, so, members were sent out during this summer recess to defend that something was, it was something a little vague and misinformation out there about and it is coincided with something of a shift in the national mood, a little bit of a mood swing where in the "washington post"/abc news poll out today we have a majority of people saying the country is heading the wrong direction. that is a big switch.
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one of the president's biggest accomplishments was turning that around. getting the country to feel better about itself after he had been inaugurated. >> mike, it's interesting, a couple thicks. the president wanted something crafted so that members could take the legislation and the bills to their constituents and talk about what was in it and get feedback. it seems that the strategy didn't shift, if at all, to the option of saying, hey, look, this is an opportunity now. we didn't get legislation written and we didn't get it out of committee in many cases, but here is an opportunity for you to go to your constituents and help us craft this and this is what we're looking at doing and some of the options on the table. what is your input? that is a different stance, but, again, that message seemed to have been slow in coming. >> yeah, but if we think about experience from our own families and our own workplaces and if you have too many cooks in the kitchen, as my grandma would say, you could have trouble. so, i think that's why this fall
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democrats are hoping that the president will be a little tougher and clearer in saying, okay, this is what i want and he and his staff to go out and knock some heads. presidents do have ways of getting what they want. even the democrats on capitol hill who are worried about things right now, who think that mistakes have been made are convinced that in the end the president will get a health care bill. he's too far out on this limb. democrats have too much at stake politically. they're too strong in both houses. the question is, how similar will be to what he ran on and how much does it live up to the hopes that the big majority of people have when they voted for him. >> you work for politico and let's deal with the political question here. burning political capital here. so, we know that the president's numbers are starting to sag a little bit. has the president, as some have suggested, shown that the republicans will say anything and say anything that they are essentially obstructionist.
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the poll numbers as you know for congressional republicans aren't pretty either. >> i think that something that nobody expected, including republicans, was that they would kind of find their voice and get some traction on this issue. the party was so far back on its heels in such a terrible demographic shape where they remain. the outlook for national elections remains very poor for republicans. but they have been able to exact quite a bit of pain on this debate and, so, that's why the president in the fall will have the opportunity to remind people why they voted for him to take back and use all the authority of that office and drive the train down a very specific track. >> mike allen, appreciate it, good to see you, sir. have a great weekend. >> happy weekend, too. white house spokesman robert gibbs heads to the white house press room shortly for the daily briefing at 11:15 eastern time. health care questions will come up and we will join in as soon
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as it gets started. ben nelson of alaska, one of the blue dog democrats is a guest on ed henry's radio show this morning. a public health insurance plan. we will talk to our senior white house correspondent later in the show, but we believe senator nelson is on the line right now with ed henry. let's listen in. >> i think we have to see what happens when we come back on september 8th and the days that follow. what i have found in nebraska is that there's an awful lot of concern, fear, anxiety, frustration. i think the america has been traumatized by the debate. because of the labeling of certain during the hospice panel and being called the death panel. there's an awful lot of misinformation out there and a lot of misunderstanding and i'm out here in nebraska trying to help people understand the difference between fact and fiction coming out of
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washington. >> now, on that point, do you think it took the president, president from your own party too long to push back on some of those attacks? the death panel which has now been shown is not true. even some republicans saying, look, that's not really what would happen. did it take this president too long to push back? >> i don't know that it did. i think, you know, the truth of the matter is the first person that comes out and labels something has the advantage and i don't think anybody would have ever expected. matter of fact, if i'm correct on this, i believe i am, the idea of the panel of counseling panel on end of life issues came from the other side of the aisle. >> johnny isaacson. >> it was accepted by the democrats. majority in the health committee in the process of marking up the bill. so, you know, i suppose people had their guard down, but i don't know who could have anticipated that. but that's the thing.
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it's really true. somebody jumps out and labels something, it's the same thing. also told me not to lie. >> very important lesson. >> yes. >> talk on the public option. the president this week started with his health secretary telling john king on "state of the union" that public option was not the essential ingredient in the health plan. that was seen by many as a way to reach out to moderate democrats like you saying the president has some flexibility on it. did it work? are you more likely to support a health bill if the president may take the public option out in the end? >> if the public option is not in the front position where it could destabilize the 200, the insurance that currently 200 million americans have, that certainly makes it more palatable. the rest of the details are important, as well. it's hard to sign on to anything until you've seen everything, but that certainly is something to keep in mind. and if the president has
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flexibility there and that is a possibility -- >> our senior white house correspondent ed henry on his radio show right now. it's 44 with ed henry talking with nebraska senator ben nelson about health care, health care reform and the public option. we will talk to ed henry a little later this hour about the rest of his conversation with nebraska senator ben nelson. still to come in the newsroom, emotions still running pretty high at town hall meetings nationwide. tomorrow we are live with health care reform uninterrupted town hall meetings and all sides in their own words get the questions and the answers on town hall raw. that is tomorrow 2:00 eastern only on cnn. a stunning new charge from inside the bush white house. the former homeland security chief says cabinet members pressured him to raise the terror alert level ahead of the election.
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welcome back to the "cnn newsroom." i'm jacqui jeras with the latest on hurricane bill. still a very powerful category 3 hurricane. just over 300 miles away from bermuda right now packing winds of 115 miles per hour and the gusts still higher than that. check this out. we found this on the web, the radar out of bermuda and there you can see the very tiny island in the middle here and then you can see those rain bands, which continue to make their way onshore. we do expect to see anywhere between about one and three inches of rain. now, the forecast track looking much the same, it's moving northwesterly now and we're expecting a gradual curve on up to the north and this could even happen later on tonight and this storm will eventually be
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weakening as it's heading towards some waters which are cooler making its closest approach to the u.s. some time likely on sunday morning. but we're already feeling the impacts of this thing, believe it or not. some very strong waves making its way along the shore and i want you to keep in mind as you look at some of these numbers here. five to ten feet and 10 to 15 feet and even up to 20 that these are breaking waves. this is going to be, you know, off the coast. it's not going to be right on the coast where you'll see them quite that strong, but it will bring in a threat, a very dangerous rip current. not a great weekend. i know you want to go to the beach, but go ahead and do that and just don't get into the water. showers and thunderstorms developing. some of them severe. a brand-new severe thunderstorm watch in effect just north of new york city on through parts of new england. so, be aware of that threat in the upcoming hours and we may see that severe weather spread a little bit further to the south as we head into the afternoon hours. tony is back in the "newsroom" right after a break.
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expecting more of the same, but it was even better than expected. existing home sales jumped more than 7% in july. much better than expected. it's the fourth straight monthly increase and it's the biggest monthly gain in ten years of record keeping for the national association of realtors. why are people buying? well, a lot of the folks who were buying last month were first-time buyers and cashing in on that $8,000 tax credit, which will expire this fall, so, they're educated buyers and, of course, home prices are down, 15% from a year ago and 32% from the high in the summer of 2006. a lot of these sales also, i should mention, are foreclosures. about one-third of them, tony, were foreclosures. >> any signs of regional improvements? we're thinking about california maybe, nevada, arizona? >> yeah, you have to ask about that particular area, tony. we had double-digit increase in
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sales in the northeast in the midwest and sales were up 7% in the south, but the only area of decline was in the west. and that includes those very hard-hit area like las vegas, san diego, southern california in general. there is a big demand for foreclosures in these areas and there are plenty of them, which is why so many real estate agents are pushing the banks to release more of them into the market. and to start getting this -- start moving the inventory, tony. >> all right, susan, good to see you. see you next hour. >> likewise. a charges of fear politics in the bush administration. the first homeland security chief tom ridge accusing former top bush officials of pressuring him to raise the terror alert level just before the 2004 presidential election. ridge makes the claim in his new book, but a former homeland security adviser denies it. cnn homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve has both sides.
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>> reporter: frank thompson says that politics never came up in the white house meeting on the threat level, but in his book, tom ridge never says that it did. he writes that he listened to the arguments john ashcroft and donald rumsfeld made to raise the threat level and then asked himself, is this about security or politics? his take away, it was. townsend reached a very different conclusion seeing it as an honest debate about the latest threat information and whether it warranted raising the country to orange. at the end of the day, the only people who really know whether these arguments were politically motivated are the people who made them. john ashcroft and donald rumsfeld. it is a bit of a surprise to hear ridge make these claims, he strikes one as the ultimate team player, but a lot has been said about his political ambitions and perhaps he wanted to create a little distance between himself and the bush white house or perhaps he just wanted to speak his mind. his critics are suggesting he just wants to sell some books. jeanne meserve, cnn, washington.
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the health care battle tops our news this hour. president obama meeting right now with former democratic senator tom daschle, who he is viewed as an expert on the issue. votes are being counted across afghanistan following yesterday's election. official there's calling it a success, although 26 people were killed in election day violence. hurricane bill may not be making a run of the u.s., but it is still affecting much of the east coast. swimmers and boaters are being warned about rip currents and high waves from northeast florida to new england. so, who is the cnn hero of the week? find out about a cancer survivor and her life-saving comeback. that's next.
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timp time for you to meet another cnn hero's nominee. one of the estimated 46 million americans without health insurance and then she turned a krisinous to a career. >> i've been completely denied all insurances. i've been unemployed and basically have no income. >> and they told me i had breast cancer. i have no insurance, so i came here. >> if they have no insurance and they have no money, what's going to happen to them? in 2003 i discovered that i had kidney cancer. i am a nurse practitioner, but i had no health insurance. i was able to mortgage my house to pay for the surgery. if it can happen to me, then it can happen to anybody. i'm faith coleman and i
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co-founded a free clinic for americans who don't have health insurance. we welcome every patient here who is uninsured and who needs to meet federal property guidelines. >> i'm faith, nice to see you. i see a patient and wehave controlled chaos. it's go, go, go. two x-rays and two cat scans. the one main reason is that i can truly emps the with patients. any questions? i'll see you back in here in two weeks. >> all right, awesome. >> i'm so proud of you! we all have the same rights. i'm sorry, the right to health care is just right up there with the rest of them. follow cnn heroes any time on facebook and twitter and find out more about faith coleman or any of our cnn heroes on our
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website, just logon to and stay tuned. in about a week's time, we will be announcing the top ten cnn heroes of 2009. time and money running out on the cash for clunkers program. we'll tell you how much longer you have to make a deal. 20 minutes later, she'll bring one into the world in seattle. later today, she'll help an accident victim in kansas. how can one nurse be in all these places? through the nurses she taught in this place. johnson & johnson knows, behind every nurse who touches a life... there's a nurse educator... who first touched them. ♪ you're a nurse ♪ you make a difference
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to get their money, but president obama said they tripled the number of people processing dealer's applications so things should start speeding along here soon. a cash for clunkers spinoff is in the works. this one aimed at upgrading your household appliances to high efficiency products. by the way, white house press secretary robert gibbs, the daily briefing is under way. we may get to that shortly. everything from refr refrigerators and dishwashers to furnaces and air conditioners and "wall street journal" report hopes it will revive slumping sales. let's get to the press briefing. >> the highest in two years. what do you, what does the white house think of that assessment that things are getting better and a sign that things are getting better and maybe the housing is healing? >> well, i think not wanting to read into one day's statistics, i think if you looked over the course of several months, it does appear that the housing market is bottoming out a bit,
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which, obviously, was one of the reasons we got into the severity of the economic downturn that we're in now. obviously, an independence to the feds that i don't want to get tremendously involved in. violating on an august friday. but i would simply reiterate what we said before, which is the economy that the president inherited upon taking office was at the brink as many far deeper recession or possible depression. actions taken to stable oilize financial system and to get a recovery plan to work to make the housing market work more for americans. deal to address foreclosures and
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hold the american economy back from that brink. obviously, not unlike the housing statistics we see, you see some good and some not so good news. as the government releases its statistics throughout the week. the president is please woud wi the fact that we are making some progress and stabilizing that economy, as i talked about. but won't be satisfied until we get the economy back on track and it will grow in the economy in that it creates jobs for the millions of americans who continue to look for work and thus far can't find it. yes, sir. >> tell us how you see things playing out after the president returns in september. yesterday, again, nancy pelosi said she couldn't pass a bill in the house without the public option. you have people like kip conrad saying you can't pass a deal in the senate with the public option.
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how do you see things unfolding in september and eventually does it come down to a conference committee, kind of resolving difference business between the senate and the house? how do you kind of project into the fall? >> right. well, look, obviously, you've got a mauruate of opinions on either side. i know last night the six-senate finance committee members spent about 90 minutes, i'm told, on the phone working through and making progress on their ideas. the white house has gotten an update on that phone call. lo look -- >> how did you feel about it? >> the reports from the phone call was that they were making progress. i think they believe, as the president strongly believes, that they should continue to work. in a bipartisan basis to try to
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get agreement on what's outstanding in order to get a bill to their committee and hopefully out of their committee. in a timely fashion when congress returns in september. so, it's hard to know exactly what's going to happen then. we hope that the senate finance committee will continue to work to make progress on that side and we'll see what happens in the house. in terms of, it's hard for me to peer too far into the future about conference committees and all that stuff. >> splitting, splitting the bill and having reconciliation because that's the way 51 votes you can get some things. >> you know, i have certainly have read the reports on that and i haven't got a lot about that from in here and our focus as we talked about over the last several days our focus is on working with republicans and democrats to get agreement on something that the president can sign.
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yes, ma'am. >> the president leaves for vacation and it's been a long month of august in the health care debate. >> long week. >> long day for me already, actually. what has the president learned this month, this make it or break it month as he heads into vacation in terms of the health care phase? >> well, i hesitate to call august a make it or, no offense, i know you guys have spent a lot of money branding the make it or break it month, but here's my hunch, my hunch is that i don't know which cable network will make september an even more important month than august and then if this thing gets to october i can only imagine that that will soon be a more important month. my sense of that is that not to quote the president yesterday at the dnc, but, you know, i think that, i think that much is always made of where things are
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at a certain point in the process. the president's view point is, as he said in here, not to worry too much about the 24-hour news psychoal and focus more on the overall process and the overall policy. so, you know, i don't know that i would read a tremendous amount into any specific time period like august. i think if you look at, if you look at the nbc poll, there's been, obviously, a lot of heat and light around town hall meetings, but the nbc poll showed that, i think, roughly an equal number of people were more favorable about health care based on town halls in three-fifths of the country didn't make any difference. so, i think the president has used august and the town hall meetings that we've had in the appearances, including the one we had yesterday and we'll do
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again in september to continue to tell people about why health care reform is important. why we can't afford to do nuthing and the stakes that are involved and to try to push back on the misrepresentations that we all know are still out there about health care. >> i know you love it when we dothis. you're not saying the president has learned something over some predetermined amount of time -- it means that you see it that he needs to be now more of a face out there in order to keep the message out there and what everyone wants to see? >> i am mounting that all i read about how the president is overexposed. so, look, i think the president is going to continue to be out front in september and october and trying to get something done. i think he understands and i think we've made progress. again, if you look at what the nbc poll has, i think there's, obviously, the president made discernible progress on the mistruth about government making end of life health care
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decisions for seniors, which obviously isn't going to happen. it's not in the bill and i think him being out there pushing forward on that rumor is why the american people and seniors based on that polling don't believe that that exists in the piece of legislation that is being considered now. >> just a side note before i get to my question, the polling numbers, the polling decided makes it look much better than it actually is. the polling shows a significant drop in support for health care plan. >> the nbc polls do not show -- >> the wrong track that has gotten much worse. >> no, i mean -- >> well, anyway. >> i'll give you 30 seconds to respond. >> despite official protests from this government on every level, the scots released the lockerbie bomber and the president yesterday said he hoped they would place him in libya under house arrest and
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instead he gets a hero's welcome and people are outraged. >> rightly so. i think the images that we saw in libya yesterday were outrageous and disgusting. we continue to express our condolences to the families that lost a loved one as a result of this terrorist murder. we communicate would the libyan government. we continue to watch what they do in the days going forward. about this individual and understand that the video that you saw yesterday is tremendously offensive to the survivors that, as i said, lost a loved one in 1988. >> the guy -- >> let's take a moment now and, first of all, you've been
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listening to white house press secretary, white house spokesman robert gibbs taking a number of questions on health care reform, the debate over the course of this last month. let's talk about that issue and maybe a couple of others with our senior white house correspondent ed henry. he is on his radio show right now 44 with ed henry. ed, we've listened a little earlier. your interview with democratic with ben nelson and let me follow up with the question that our kate baldwin asked of robert gibes. what do you think the president has learned in this month? august about the health care reform bill d bait in this country? >> you know, i think when you talk to white house senior aides they always knew this would be a big battle and one thing they learned and from talking to top white house aides it was maybe even tougher than they anticipated because reforming one-sixth of the economy, something that has been tried for decades and failed, you
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know, many presidents have tried this, and i think they've also learned a little bit in the debates ahead, not just on health care and trying to rescue this, but in the years ahead in this president's term here, i will see whether he runs for re-election and whether he's re-elected and whether there's eight years or four years, but it's about senator nelson was talking about getting ahead and pushing back when people start talking about the death panels and the like and this white house didn't move as quickly as they did in the campaign last year. very swift back then. one thing senator nelson told me, there is a swing vote here and he said he's found from his constituents, they have been "traumatized" by this. >> what does that mean? >> they hear about death panels and they think grandma and this and that and the president has talked about that in recent days but it took him a while to push back and this is a debate where the president started out saying, i want to help you, i want to improve this system and bring more health care to those
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uninsured and, instead you have a democratic senator saying they've been traumatized by it. right nuwe're joined by our program and we have john boroso and we appreciate you joining us on cnn television and cnn radio. where do you think we are in this debate, sir? senator, welcome, ed henry here on cnn with tony harris. where do you think we are on this debate right now? >> well, i'm in the middle of cheyenne, wyoming, and i'm going to visit with 300 emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters just to talk about the issues of health care and people in wyoming have great concerns. i have been having meetings around the state and when i talk to people. you ask them the question do you think you'll pay more or less under the president's plan, you know, by 2 to 1 they think they'll pay more and then you think your health care will be better or worse under the president's plan and 2-1 say they think they're going to be
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worse and they're not sure they're getting the value that they deserve and that's what the people of wyoming want. >> we spoke to the moderate democrat you know well from alaska and he floated an idea, look, maybe the public option should be a secondary option. he said in the first option should be passing a bill that deals with pre-existing conditions making sure insurance companies can't, you know, pull that coverage out when you have a pre-existing condition and make the public option sort of a fall back position that could be triggered if the insurance companies do not make the reforms that democrats and some republicans have been pushing for. could you live with a bill, as a republican, that has a public option in it as a fallback? could that be a possible compromise here? i have to see the details laid out. we work hand-in-hand on a number of proposals and right now i look at this large bill, 1,018 pages. to me, it's very complicated.
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one of the members of the house says, why read it? it takes two days to read it and two lawyers to explain it to you. it's too complicated for the american people and for the members of congress. we shouldn't vote for that sort of thing. if you don't understand it, you shouldn't vote for it. i like the idea of breaking it into pieces and taking a look at trying to figure out. >> very, very interesting to hear that from senator john barraso of wyoming that it is essentially too complicated a bill right now for americans to read and understand. well, guess what we have? we have a adriana maxwell. >> are you sitting up straight in the chair? >> i am sitting up straight. >> we'll take a break, you read, read not only the house bill -- >> i read the health and exchange, the one by the dems and then i read the one by the republicans. i also read hr 676 which was
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done by representative about a total public plan. >> let's do this. let's take a quick break. let's come back and let's talk about it and i ai'll ask you th question, is it too complicated for folks to get through. you had an initial answer to that question two weeks ago and a slightly different view of it now. let's take a break. aaaaaaaaaaaaa
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health care legislation is probably not on your summer reading list, but it is for one of our i-reporters. adriana maxwell, remember she was here a couple weeks ago. spent part of her summer plowing through more than 1,000 pages in the house version of the bill. she's finished, she's back with an update. one, two, three slightly differently, four bills on the house side. >> four bills on the house side. >> one out of health on the senate side. which one did you read? >> i read them all. >> you did not read them all. >> i did read them all. actually printed them for me. >> so, the last time you were here you said it was tricky to get through it because it's all in legislative. did it start to come together for you at some point and start making some english for everyone to understand? >> in english.
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it does, after a while you get used to the rith anymore the rhyme of what they mean and it actually starts to make sense to you. at one point, when i was reading through especially like hr-676 and they were talking hr-676 and they were talking about -- >> which committee is that? >> that's representative kucinich. >> kucinich. >> from ohio. yes, ohio. >> here's the thing. let's go through a couple of pieces here. four pieces of legislation that you read. >> uh-huh. >> any language in any of the bills using the terminology "death panels"? >> none. absolutely not. nothing about death panels whatsoever. >> but there must be something that could be construed or wouldn't be hearing this over and over again. >> because what happens, like, for any legal purpose or insurance, it has to be scheduled. because if it's not scheduled, the insurance company will not pay for it. so, what it is, is that after you hit a certain stage of your game, everybody hits their stage eventually -- >> right.
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>> -- it says you have the right to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss a directive. >> directives, yes. >> directives. everyone should have one once you hit the age of 18 and over. but in this case, it's specifically geared so that way your insurance, medicare, will pay for it. >> okay. so no language that uses -- >> none. absolutely not. >> how does the house bill -- you read everything. >> yes. >> is there anything in any of the bills that discusses covering people who were in the country illegally? >> there is -- it absolutely does not cover. >> just the opposite. >> absolutely not. it was actually -- >> and you read each line. >> each line of each bill several times as a matter of fact. >> strongest -- strongest features of the language that you read? what is -- give me a general impression of what's taking shape here. >> well, the impression that i got from the house bill -- >> yeah. >> -- was that they are trying to do a humongous amount of reform. >> right.
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>> and that's pretty much what it is. we want to reform health insurance. >> right. >> we want to reform the way medicare works. we want to reform the way medicaid works and cover more people. >> does it seem as though it's too much to do in one big ultimately reconciled piece of legislation? >> when you throw everybody in? yes. >> yes. >> when you start having republicans and democrats and even within the democratic party, you have your blue dogs, your conserves and way left, way right. >> yes. >> yes, it becomes too much. and i can understand the obama administration wanting to go, let's just get it in and get it done -- >> yeah. >> -- but at the same time, okay, let's deal with one aspect first, health care insurance. >> are you happy you took on the assignment? would you recommend it for others who are watching us? >> i would. i definitely would. >> awesome. >> i would. >> adriana, i'm so glad you said that. >> thank you. >> you've been terrific. let's figure out other things for you to do. >> i would love to come back. i really would. >> you superstar i-reporter, lady. >> i appreciate it.
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still in the "newsroom," dozens of young people have died in a rash of violence in chicago. in our "what matters" segment, we'll hear stories from parents who lost children. the government's cash for clunkers program is about to come to a close. how did it go? we'll hear from an auto analyst and a car dealer on the end of the road for the program. that's next hour in the "cnn newsroom." introducing the all new chevy equinox. with an epa estimated 32 miles per gallon. and up to 600 miles between fill ups. it's the most fuel efficient crossover on the highway. better than honda cr-v, toyota rav4 and even the ford escape hybrid. the all new chevy equinox.
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cue the music up. ♪ sly and the family stone. "hot fun in the summertime." look, here's the deal. summer slipping away fast. we all know it to be the truth here. soon it will be, what, just a memory? so, how about a little more fun before it's gone. we want to know what song best sums up your summer. the one that when you hear it years from now, it will bring back the sweetest of the sweet memories of the summer of '09. give us a little feedback, just go to it's our blog page. tell us what your song is. we will go down the list, and maybe even try to play a few on the air. ♪
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also discuss the medicines you take, even eye drops. side effects may include dry mouth, constipation and trouble passing urine. every day could be a good day to breathe better. announcer: ask your doctor tylenol doesn't interfere with certain high blood pressure medicines the way aleve sometimes can. that's one reason why doctors recommend tylenol more than any other brand of pain reliever.
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well, we are tracking bill. let's get you to our hurricane headquarters and our chad myers is there. and, chad, why don't you walk us through the latest information, the path of hurricane bill. >> bill, do you know what bill is? >> what's that? >> swing and a miss! >> yes. >> at least for bermuda, thank goodness. they are going to get waves and something from this, but they're not going to get 115-mile winds gusting to 140, that's good news. and the difference about the islands they're really getting slammed with the northerly waves all across the northern part of san juan and all the way through
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puerto rico. i mean, that island right there just getting, 14-footers crashing onshore. the dr, a little bit less, farther away from the eye. but i tell you what, those are really big waves coming in. the projected path farther away than we had it earlier today, and it's moving out to sea. the funny part is how good this forecast really was from the very first day. >> yeah. >> you know, we could have had this thing, or the hurricane center, could have had it coming onshore and people panicked, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh, but this thing has not deeviated much frm the ten detail-day-old forecast. the radar out of bermuda, actually nice shot there. you can actually go online and see that as well. so, what do we expect? i think the biggest threat for anybody across the united states will be along the shore, not from wind, but from coastal
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erosion. >> yeah. >> because we are we going to get waves 10, 15 high in some spots and even up to the carolinas they're saying 15 to 20. now, tony, i don't know if you've ever been to the outer banks. >> yeah. >> but i know there's a reef, there's a reef that will break up some of these waves. but if you get a 15-foot wave along the outer banks, literally some could end up on the other side. >> that's right. they could end up in the sound. and that overwash could wash out roadways and it's a touch-and-go situation and i don't think you want to be there unless you have to be, unless there's something you want to protect. if it's just your vacation and you can take it or leave it, i would leave it and get a room with a boot and be there. this is dangerous surf. i don't think anybody wants to be in it. surfers are excited and want to be there, but when the winds are blowing onshore and the waves are foamy, the water doesn't float as well. it's not the time to be out there without at least the life preserver on, and surfers don't
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want to put life preservers on. oh, my gosh, i'm not wearing that. put on the shorty, three millimeter wet suit on, and that will give you some protection if you lumes the board, that will give you some flotation when you are out there and they are trying to find you. it's a dangerous weekend. i highly recommend don't know in, but i know it goes in this ear and out this ear. >> no, no, no, when you speak, we're on it. maybe we can get back to you and maybe we can show some of the amazing tornado footage. >> i kind of ran out of time. the tornadoes out of ontario and debris in the air. >> yeah. >> it was pretty phenomenal. >> no, no, no, we'll find some time for it. it was amazing video. chad, thank you. baghdad is reeling from this week's horrific attacks. 500 people were wounded. and, of course, raising fears that the dark days of terror may be back. our pentagon correspondent, chris lawrence, reports on how it is affecting both iraqis and
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u.s. troops. >> reporter: the families of baghdad's bombing victims came to collect their remains thursday after the deadliest day of coordinated attacks all year. now iraqis are blaming their own. >> translator: we warned the security forces no to the be lax, but those troops didn't carry out their duties. >> reporter: the american commander in charge of training those iraqi forces admitted -- >> clearly there was a lapse of security. >> reporter: the bombs killed nearly 100 people and came nearly two months after u.s. troops left iraq's cities. the americans are only minutes away, but must wait until iraqis ask for help, which may not come until well after. >> we get requests for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms. we provided that. they also requested some medical assistance which we provided as well. >> reporter: some blame prime minister nuri al maliki for pushing the americans out too soon. >> he's telling the iraqi people, hey, i'm the guy that freed you from the bonds of american occupation. >> reporter: wesley gray is a
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former marine officer who spent more than 200 days living with and training iraqi forces. he says they can do basic patrols and combat missions, but could fracture if religious tensions rise. gray says maliki's strategy gives the opposition good reason to make his security forces look ineffective. >> disenfranchised sunni groups have huge incentives to force him to have to go crawling back to the americans, because then they say, hey, this guy is wa eck and he couldn't do it. >> cnn pent gosh correspondent, chris lawrence, joining us. what do the u.s. commanders think of all this? the uptick in the violence? are they frustrated they aren't being called in to actually do more here? >> well, publicly, they say they are not frustrated. but the u.s. commander in iraq says he wants to get american troops more directly involved. not in baghdad, but up north. because up there the tensions are rising between the arabs and the kurds. and general ray ordierno feels that putting american troops on patrol with them will sort of
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allow these two groups to stop blaming each other and learn to trust each other. now, a lot of that area up north is rural. so, it may or may not violate the security agreement that keeps u.s. forces out of the cities. if it does, then that obviously would have to be renegotiated, or the u.s. would have to be granted an exemption to go to work up there. >> yeah. that makes sense. all right, at the pentagon, chris lawrence for us. chris, appreciate it. thank you. afghanistan's national elections are being called a test of that country's young democracy, but will the results be respected? cnn's atia abawi talked about the voters, who shared their hopes and fears. >> reporter: little anich was out with his dad on voting day in kabul. they were among those that braved the polls after days of taliban intimidation and bloodshed. "what should we be afraid of? there is one life and one death. we are never scared. we've been here through all the wars. we never abandoned our nation."
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a nation that has seen 30 years of continuous violence, and thursday was no different. at least 26 afghans reported killed in election-related attacks. and the capital of helmand province, where the taliban are strong, rockets landed near a following station killing at least one child. even so, nanny women in the province defied the taliban and came out to vote. "the rockets are coming, and we don't care," she says. "women want to vote." when afghans come to vote, their first stop is here at this table. they show their voter registration cards and their number is written down. they then dip their finger in ink and head over to this table, where they pick up ballots. one is for the presidency, and the other is for provincial council seats. they, then, take those ballots to these cardboard boxes, where they make their picks in secrecy. when they're done, they bring it here to the ballot boxes, where they drop it in.
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voting lines formed in areas of northern and western afghanistan, but residents in the south and east were more hesitant to head to the polls. after threats from the taliban. but it wasn't just fear that kept afghans at home. some were skeptical the vote wouldn't be fair. one international observer stopped this child who had voted. he had a fake voting card, but admitted he was 13. >> aty ttia abawi joining us f kabul. do you know we know what the overall turnout was for this election? >> reporter: tony, we don't know the exact number, but what we do know is that it was a very low turnout. even lower than the 2004 presidential elections and the 2005 parliamentary elections. again, most of that was from taliban intimidation. it was a very bloody week leading up to the elections, but many afghans did not feel it was worth risking their lives to go to the poll, primarily because they don't believe in their
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government -- governmental system at the moment. they don't believe in the political process at the moment, and they've been disenchanted by democracy. tony? >> and atia, one more quick question here. when are election results expected? >> reporter: what we do know is that 30 out of 34 provinces have already counted their ballots. and we expect results to trickle in starting august 25th. we get preliminary results on september 3rd. and then final results on september 17th. but let's remember that fraud allegations are deep at the moment. many presidential candidates also claiming fraud throughout the provinces, claiming that ballots were stuffed. obviously we saw that picture of that 13-year-old child who actually went out to vote, and he was not the only one. people using fake registration cards and actually voting multiple times. tony? >> atia abawi for us in kabul, afghanistan. atia, good to see you. thank you. you know, it is their biggest monthly drop in ten
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years. the national association of realtors say existing home sales shot up 7.2% in july. sales spurred by a tax credit for first-time buyers that expires in the fall and more unabashed optimism here from fed chairman ben bernanke. he says, "the prospects for a return for growth in the near term appear good." bernanke spoke today at an annual federal reserve conference in wyoming. time and money running out for the government's popular cash for clunkers program. this is your last weekend to get in on the rebate incentives. monday night, deal over. the program has generated nearly 500,000 vehicle sales, but many dealers complain they've had to wait too long to get their money back from uncle sam. i will discuss the program's successes, difficulties, later this hour with jeffrey pohanko, who operates dealerships in the washington area and automotive analyst lauren fix. the president is headed off for vacation.
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the fight for health care is far from over. we will get the latest on the administration's push to get a bill passed. reading about washington these days... i gotta ask, what's in it for me? i'm not looking for a bailout, just a good paying job. that's why i like this clean energy idea. now that works for our whole family. for the kids, a better environment. for my wife, who commutes, no more gettin' jerked around on gas prices... and for me, well, it wouldn't be so bad if this breadwinner brought home a little more bread. repower america.
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i hope our senators are listening.
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"what do you mean homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods?" "a few inches of water caused all this?" "but i don't even live near the water." what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you. including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $119 a year. for an agent, call the number on your screen. president obama and the push for health care reform. after a tumultuous week in the fight over reform, the president gets a private consultation from a trusted adviser on the issue. cnn's kate bolduan live from the white house with details. and, kate, first of all, i want to get to the question you asked in the daily briefing a moment ago, because that was good.
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but, first, talk about this conference, this conversation the president had with former senator tom daschle. >> reporter: well, the latest we have from press secretary, robert gibbs, in the briefing that i just jumped out, the meeting started a little bit late, and we're still waiting for a read-out on that. but as we talked about this morning, tony, he's the former senate majority leader, senator tom daschle, he was obama's first choice to head up the department of health and human services and sois as an informal adviser to the president. and gibbs said he does listen to what daschle has to say on the issue. so, we're hoping to get a little more of a read-out a little later today, tony. >> kate, as i asked a moment ago, i thought you asked a really good question of robert gibbs during the daily briefing, you wanted to know if the president has learned anything during the congressional recess. and he was reluctant to take that one on, wasn't he? >> reporter: sometimes it takes a little cajoling to get gibbs
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to answer straight, but the question simply was, the president's heading into vacation, leaving for vacation this evening, and it has been no doubt a difficult month for the white house and the administration and trying to keep pushing forward and keeping momentum in the health care debate. so, i simply asked him, what has the president learned, and robert gibbs says, we don't like to look at predetermined amounts of time. we like to look forward, but here's his answer -- >> i do think the president has used august and the town hall meetings that we've had and the appearances, including the one we had yesterday, and we'll do it again in september to continue to tell people about why health care reform is important, why we can't afford to do nothing. the stakes -- that are involved, and to try to push back on the mistruths and misrepresentations that we all know are still out there on health care. >> reporter: and, tony, we heard that yesterday and we continue to hear it. it seems to be the president's position at least as of recent. back out on the campaign to try
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to, as he said, to combat the misinformation and the noise out there that's confusing and not helping the health care debate. we heard from robert gibbs, the press secretary, while the schedule will be much more tamped out while the president is on vacation, the president will be checking in with conference calls and making calls to people on capitol hill to continue to get updated. >> kate bolduan, thank you. productive talks on held care r health care reform, but that's what the six senators pledged to keep working on a bipartisan bill after their talk yesterday. last hour i spoke to the white house correspondent from politico about whether the lack of a completed bill has hurt the debate. >> if you get too many cooks in the kitchen as my grandma would say, you can have trouble. so, i think why this fall democrats are hoping that the president will be a little tougher and clearer in saying, okay, this is what i want.
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and he and his staff to go out and knock some heads. presidents do have ways of getting what they want. even the democrats on capitol hill who are worried about things right now, who think that mistakes have been made, are convinced that in the end, the president will get a health care bill. looking for more of what you've been seeing here on cnn, check out there you can find out where the closest town hall meeting is to you. the key players in the debate, the different plans, and, of course, the controversial sticking points to the various plans. a new book by the former head of homeland security, raising questions about the role politics played in setting america's terror threat level. that's next. reading about washington these days... i gotta ask,
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what's in it for me? i'm not looking for a bailout, just a good paying job. that's why i like this clean energy idea. now that works for our whole family. for the kids, a better environment. for my wife, who commutes, no more gettin' jerked around on gas prices... and for me, well, it wouldn't be so bad if this breadwinner brought home a little more bread. repower america. i hope our senators are listening.
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our top stories now -- president obama gets a private consultation on health care reform. he was meeting last hour with former senator tom daschle, a trusted adviser on the issue, before leaving for vacation. hurricane bill, big and bad, but not expected to hit the mainland. still warnings are out for east coast beachgoers from northeast florida to new england. watch out for those dangerous
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rip currents. an overnight plane crash with a twain twist in teterboro, new jersey, when the first police officer arrived, he couldn't find anyone. he later found the pilot and the passenger sitting at a nearby bus stop. both in shock. one in serious condition. the other critical. the next check of headlines in 20 minutes right here in the "cnn newsroom." charges of fear politics in the bush administration. the nation's first homeland security chief, tom ridge, accusing former top bush officials of pressuring him to raise the terror alert level just before the 2004 presidential election. ridge makes the claim in his new book. cnn white house correspondent, ed henry, reports. >> reporter: the friday before the 2004 election. only two or three points separated democrat john kerry from president bush. suddenly, a twist. osama bin laden released a shocking new videotape, and it played nonstop on the arab
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language network al jazeera. >> translator: your security is not in the hands of kerry or bush or al qaeda. your security is in your own hands. >> reporter: the next morning, just 72 hours before the polls opened, the president's top security advisors, including donald rumsfeld and john ashcroft, huddled for an urgent meeting, to decide whether to raise the color-coded threat level from yellow to orange. then homeland security secretary, tom ridge, reveals in an explosive new book, a vigorous, some might say dramatic, discussion ensued. ashcroft strongly urged an increase in the threat level and was supported by rumsfeld. he goes on -- there was absolutely no support for that position within our department. none. i wondered, is this about security or politics. post-election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president's approval ratings in the days after the raising of the threat level. the bush campaign was already pushing the envelope on
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frightening voters. listen to then vice president cheney just ten days before the bin laden tape. >> the ultimate threat is the possibility of their succeeding and getting, say, a biological agent or nuclear weapon, smuggling it into the united states, into one of our own cities, and raising the specter of being able to kill hundreds of thousands of americans. >> reporter: in the summer of 2004, just a few days after the democratic national convention, the white house had raised the threat level. drawing charges of political manipulation that were sharply denied by bush officials, like ridge, at the time. >> we don't do politics in the department of homeland security. >> reporter: but now at the tense meeting the weekend before the election, ridge writes that it, quote, seemed possible to me and to others around the table that something could be afoot other than simple concern about the country's safety. in the end, however, the threat level was not raised. after ridge claims he and others pulled rumsfeld and ashcroft, quote, back from the brink.
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but ridge said the episode left him disillusioned. he writes "i knew i had to follow through on my plans to leave the federal government." he tendered his resignation within a month after the election. he wrote "i consider that episode to be not only a dramatic moment in washington's recent history, but another illustration of the intersection of politics, fear, credibility, and security." >> but other bush officials in the meeting, like cnn contributor fran townsend, a former homeland security adviser, insists ridge is wrong. townsend said politics was not discussed at the meeting and the whole discussion was based on intelligence. >> not only do i not think that it -- it played -- politics played any part in it at all, it was never discussed. in fact, the only thing that was discussed was the summer -- earlier that summer there had been a threat against the financial district. there was the bin laden tape, and then there was another tape, kiran, by adam gadahn, who was a u.s. citizen, a member of al qaeda, and it was a very
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threatening tape. and it was a discussion, and it revolved around what the intelligence was. there was no discussion of politics whatsoever. well, a warning from the world health organization to prepare for an explosion of h1n1 or swine flu cases. an official predicts most country will see cases double every three to four days for several months. the group is urging nations to speed up preparations for the pandemic and warns as many as 2 billion people could become infected in the next two years. if you want cash for your clunker, you'd better hurry. the car rebates are going, going, gone! soon.
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welcome back, everyone, to the "cnn newsroom." i'm tony harris. once again, let's direct you to -- this is what we do every day at this time to our magnificent website, our financial team doing an awesome job keeping you up to speed on the latest financial news and analysis. let's get everyone to the big board. new york stock exchange now. boy, from the opening moments here, this has been a nice little rush in the positive territory for the dow. as you can see, the dow up 143 points. let's see, three straight days of positive numbers for the dow.
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trying to close out the week on a four-day winning streak. again, 142 points. just about three hours into the trading day. and the nasdaq is up 26. we are following the numbers for you throughout the day right here in the "cnn newsroom." so, with the money running out, the government is pulling the plug on the wildly successful cash for clunkers program. so, what do you need to know? stephanie elam has "the breakdown" from new york. stephanie, good to see you. looking all tan there. good to see you. >> i know, tony, i think it has been so long since i've seen you. good to be here. >> like it was yesterday. >> if you have a gas guzzler, which i'm sure you don't, but time is running out to get some cash for the clunker. the government is shutting down the $3 billion program on monday, because, well, it's almost out of money. auto dealers have to submit all paperwork by 8:00 p.m. eastern on monday, to make sure they get paid back for vouchers up to
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$4,500. some will stop offering the deals on sunday or sooner to make sure they have enough time to get the paperwork done. so far, for the 450,000 clunker deals that have been recorded. and, tony, that's worth $1.9 billion in rebates. >> wow. >> a lot of money. >> that is a lot of money. so, are we going to see a huge rush this weekend? >> that's what the dealers are gearing up for. they're hoping on that fact right there. one tells us he's planning a big advertising push, as he doesn't want to leave any dollars on the sidelines. but as you know, a lot of dealers have been really frustrated by the ram. in new york hundreds have pulled out of the program altogether, they were saying the government was taking too long to pay them back for the vouchers. the transportation department is adding more workers to try to speed up dealer reimbursements. but for some people it's too big of a gamble for the dealers. and they don't want to take the chances. and that's what they're working on. >> i got it. if people want to still take advantage of the program, what should they look out for? >> raw, there's definitely some things people should be aware
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of. some customers are being asked to sign a form saying you'll pay back the vouchers just in case the reimbursement doesn't come through. there are some dealerships who are asking them to take the new car home until the government approves the paperwork. it's not the way it's done. if you have a clunker deal, they have to give the new car to you immediately. here's the deal that you need to qualify. your old car has to get 18 per miles a gallon or less and can't be older than 25 years old. the car can be older than you are, tony. a little young car there, it's not going to work. and you have to have owned it at least a year for it to work out. tony, a lot of people will be looking to get it done this weekend, but beware of the pitfa pitfalls. >> that's good news. have a great weekend. my next guest joined me in the "newsroom" once cash for clunkers got going and we've asked him back once we're at the end of the road. jeffrey pohanko is in marlo
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heights, maryland. good to see you. >> good to be back. >> and automotive expert lauren fix is in buffalo. lauren, as always, great to see you. >> great to see you, too, tony. >> jeff, i'll start with you. i got to tell you, i think you've been really balanced in your conversation about this program. you said the program has been wildly successful, but the bureaucracy has been an absolute nightmare. let's break this apart here. explain the wildly successful part from your point of view. >> well, the program has been very successful to the consumer. this has been -- they've responded. i think the last four weeks our industry has sold about 750,000 cars under the cash for clunker program. so, i would say wildly successful from the consumer standpoint. somewhat of a frustration from an administrative standpoint. >> tell me why. what's been the nightmare, the headache for you? >> well, what should be a pretty simple process, trading in the
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old car for the new car. the regulations are 160 pages. we had great difficulty submitting claims in the first week of the program. it would take two hours or more to submit one claim. the computer would crash. and that has been fixed. but we have -- we'll sell up to 800 cars through this program by come monday. but of the 550 we've already submitted, very few have been reviewed yet. and only ten have been paid. >> only ten? >> only ten. we have -- we'll have about $3 million, our company alone will have about $3 million into this program come monday. >> lauren, you -- look, you've been pretty clear on this. you have not been a fan of this program. so, give me the list that i told you sos. come on. >> well, first off, it is great that people like jeff and the rest of the dealers around the country are getting rid of their 2008 and 2009 models, because traditionally, and he'll tell you, labor day is a huge weekend from that point on, with all the new models coming in. so, this is good for them to
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clear the lot force the new cars. the i told you so, i knew there would be a bigger impact than what you saw on the surface. yes, it's great for the consumer. look at the local repair shops. i've talked to many of the different chains who thought sales would be up because people are not keeping their cars and trading in for new cars, which is good, it has caused the repair business to actually lay people off. so, that hasn't helped either. and i'm sure that it's going to impact all the dealerships as far as their service department. you want people to bring their cars back and get them serviced. it's really important, because there's a lot of profit to be made from the dealership network there. on the other hand, i knew the governments would have issues with paying back the consumers, because citibank is handling the paperwork on the financial end of this. i know there is a lot of government stuff, but there's a much bigger picture. this was a knee-jerk reaction, we should have done it before the bankruptcy so no dealership was affected in a negative way. >> jeff, do you believe ultimately that you will get your money for these deals?
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>> i'm confident that we will be paid. but we're worried that this might be musical chairs. that more cars have been sold than maybe there's funding for the program. we don't really know. now, monday, 8:00, is the last time we can submit a claim for the program to be paid. but we're worried if there are more than 750,000 applications put in, there won't be enough money. so, it's possible someone will be left standing once the musical chairs is over. that's our concern. and, also, they've given us three days' notice to put the deals through. we've been doing it. it's a complex program. there's about 16 different things we must apply, and it's been a really difficult administrative program. >> yeah. >> now, it's one thing to have stimulus, but you've got to be able to back it up with support, and they just haven't given to us. >> lauren, in the final analysis, was it a good idea? maybe poorly executed, but was it a good idea? i'm trying to think, you know, where we would be, would be talking moving 450,000 to
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600,000 cars in about a month's time if not for this program? >> well, i think it would have happened over a period of time. people eventually need to have their cars replaced whether it's a lease or the car wears down and it needs to be repaired. it's great for the dealer. it should have been done before the bankruptcy, and it should have been broader, allowed more people to be eligible for it. my big concern is the repossession factor and i'm sure we won't know that until down the road. we may be having the conversation, and i can say, i told you so, but a lot of people purchased cars and they have insurance payments and you have to think we don't know what the future is. hopefully, i'm hoping, the economy will continue to grow. it will be really great for everyone. but i think the big picture is i think the auto dealers should have tried this before going through the bankruptcy route, and i really feel bad for the many, nanny dealers who have had less than a third of their money received. some none, with thousands of deals paid out, and it affects their cash flow and they can't meet the payroll when you have to pay your bills. >> i will tell you this, jeff, the last time you were here, you were a lot more energetic.
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something tells me this whole bureaucratic process has beat you down a little bit. do i have that right? >> i'm -- i'm beaten down. you're going to be surprised, shocked, there are going to be some sales records made this month. i heard from our honda regional manager that honda was on track to have the best august sales in their history. so once the smoke clears, the dust settles, this program will be amazingly successful in terms of generating sales. it's put major stress on america's auto dealers who were given promises that we'd be paid in ten days. i know that's not how the government pays, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, i went in and read the law and we must be paid in ten days, and that's not happening. they need to improve the payment cycle. they could put some dealers close to out of business, because there's hundreds of millions of dollars they don't have. it's a great program. i think they should fix the program and continue the program. and one thing to think about, it's cheap stimulus, it only costs 60 cents on the dollar, the reason for that 40% or more
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of the stimulus money goes right back to the state in terms of sales tax right away. tell me another stimulus that only gets a dollar's worth of bang, only costs 60 cents. there isn't one. it's great stimulus. it doesn't cost a lot. workers are being hired right now. the factories are cranking back up. you will be surprised when the results are in once this is over. >> well, jeff, hang in there. hang in there. i know it's been a long day for you, and it will be a really long weekend. but hang in there. and, lauren, great to see you as always. thank you. still to come in the "newsroom," a terrorist comes home to a triumphant welcome. now, anger grows from britain. it is warning libya to tone down the party. vo: when you can serve your family breakfast from walmart, vo: for a little over $2 a person. mom: just one breakfast a week and the savings really add up. save money. live better. walmart. save money. live better. walmart. capturing the beauty of nature. sharing what i see. that's my vision.
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hour, 1:20 eastern. and just in to cnn, four u.s. soldiers serving in iraq have been charged with cruelty and maltreatment of four subordina subordinates. cnn's barbara starr is at the pentagon with the latest. what can you tell us? >> it doesn't get more disturbing than this. the u.s. military putting out a statement a few minutes ago from iraq, that four u.s. army soldiers serving in southern iraq have now been charged with multiple counts of cruelty and mistreatment of other u.s. army soldiers serving in their unit, maltreatment of their subordinates. the charges include verbal abuse, ridicule, and cruelty, physical punishment we are told. u.s. military spokesman describing it to cnn says the physical punishment of these soldiers involved matters such as, as he described it, undue c calisthenics, but also verbal abuse and ridicule.
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more disturbing, perhaps, if possible, how this all came to light. we are told back on august 4th a young soldier in the unit committed suicide. in the investigation of that suicide, this entire matter of alleged maltreatment and cruelty within the unit came to light. the investigation now is looking at the specific maltreatment of four soldiers in the unit, and possibly, though, not confirmed, any involvement in that suicide case. tony? >> that's pretty horrible. barbara starr at the pentagon for us. barbara, thank you. >> sure. they are moms and dads, just like you and me, and they are sharing the tragedy of loss. the terrible killing spree going on among young people. our don lemon talks with them about chicago's deadly streets.
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companies are trying to head off expected losses from new federal rules. more now from cnn's mary snow. >> reporter: 26-year-old matthew st. clair has been digging his way out of the $12,000 mound of debt he racked up in college. he's made quite a debt, but is alarmed by a recent bill. >> we're increasing your rate. that caught my attention. >> reporter: st. clair learned american express raised rates on cash advances by four percentage points, enough he says for him not to use it. because he rate would be 24.25%. american express cites the business and economic environment for the hike, and it's not alone pop those who follow the credit card industry report widespread hikes of rates and fees. >> we've seen a dramatic uptick in the last 60 to 90 days. >> reporter: he says credit card issuers are raising rates while they still can. phase one of reform legislation signed by president obama in may is now kicking in. but the bulk of the new rules to follow in february. >> they're using this period of
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time in order to jockey and front run before the implementation of the legislation. >> reporter: the website, compared cards between january and june and found of major issuers, capital one changed rates the most. raising purchase rates and balance transfers 50%. when asked about changing rates, capital one said it had to make adjustments to reflect external conditions. the pew safe credit cards project surveyed hundreds of credit card providers and found even the lower advertised rates went up 20% to 11.99% in the first half of the year. >> it happened at a time right when banks were actually getting money cheaper from the federal government. >> reporter: but the group representing the credit card industry says they're not out to get customers. >> the bulk of americans are seeing a change in their interest rate or in their credit limit because of a change in the borrower's risk profile. >> reporter: but matthew st. clair says he doesn't get it, since his profile has improved as he's whittled down his debt. he's hoping to avoid using credit card in the future, but
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worries about his friends. >> i have friends now who are filing for bankruptcy now at 26. so, that's something i know my parents probably didn't see in their lifetime, but it's pretty common now with my friends which is pretty scary, truthfully. >> reporter: among the new rules starting in february, there will be tighter restrictions for cards issued to anyone under 21. mary snow, cnn, new york. wait a minute. what is this? tennis stars in the nfl? it's what we're talking about in our "what matters" segment in partnership with "essence" magazine. sisters venus and serena williams are venturinging into pro football. you heard me right. word is the williams sisters are the latest celebrities buying a stake in the miami dolphins. they would join other celebrities like jimmy buffett and singer mark anthony as limited partners in the team. the deal could happen tuesday. right now, no team in the nfl has a black majority owner. the first lady is making her debut on the list of the world's 100 most powerful women.
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michelle obama is number 40 on "forbes" magazine's annual list. mrs. obama has quickly become a worldwide sensation. she even bet out oprah winfrey and queen elizabeth, who came in at numbers 41 and 42 respectively. german chancellor angela merkel tops the list for the fourth year in a row. from powerful women to a tragic situation in chicago. young people are dying in record numbers on the city's streets. this past school year alone, more than 500 shootings, dozens of deaths. our don lemon sat down with some of the parents who lost children to the violence on chicago's deadly streets. >> reporter: is he right? it takes you back, always just raw pain? >> every time we talk about what happened that day, it breaks me down all the time. >> i'm just as numb as that night, that afternoon and they called me and she told me blair had been shot. you talk about the worst feeling in the world.
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instant trauma to the emotions. >> you know, when i think back to what kind of child i had, it hurts me so bad. it hurts so bad. >> yeah. >> reporter: most of you are carrying some sort of memento or something. what are you guys carrying? >> my son was killed 3 1/2 years ago, and as you can see, i still have his cell phone on. i just can't bear to turn it off, because i keep having that stupid little thought in the back of my head when he walks back through the door if he doesn't have a phone, he's just going to die, you know. >> reporter: does it ever ring? >> i leave it on for his friends, you know, for them to, you know, text him and, you know, they text him a lot. >> reporter: what do some of the text messages say? do you get the text messages? >> just poems, i love you, i miss you. >> reporter: do you have on there? can you read it? >> i don't want to lose anybody else. this hurts a lot. i love you. >> reporter: you brought
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something of your -- >> yeah. the program, obituary and also the newspaper article, because he told me he would be in the paper. >> reporter: this is how he's in the paper. >> yep. >> reporter: college student is city's 500th homicide of the year. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: this isn't how you expected your son to be in the paper. >> huh-uh. >> reporter: tell me your story. >> terrell was a bass player, gospel bass player. he was at a church coming out to help his friends get drums out of the car. somebody came shooting and shot terrell. >> i drove him to high school for four years. i drove him every day so he wouldn't have to take public transportation. and the one place that i never worried about terrell was church. i never worried about him being at church. and to get a phone call that your son got shot coming out of church, it was just unbelievable. >> i get a call from a complete stranger.
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they're coming from -- her and her friend were coming from a church function. and i get a call, you know, on my cell phone. it has her name. so, i'm, you know, calling -- calling to get an update. how's your afternoon going? it's 5:00 in the afternoon, a complete stranger, telling me my daughter is laying in the alley bleeding. >> we almost lost christina. i feel very lucky that we still have her. >> if i could say anything to that parent whose child caused my parent -- my child to lose his life, i hope you never feel like i feel. >> don will be hosting an in-depth hour on chicago's deadly streets tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. the show will feature more of don's reporting from chicago, including interviews with current and former gang members
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and community leaders. that's tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. well, if you think federal stimulus money is just going to big cities, think again. we will show you one community that's doubled its police force. it's easy math. one plus one equals two. may i help you? hello, down here! you hiring? good! yes, but... then i can set my master plan in motion. your master what? i got big dreams and everybody knows, if you work here, the sky's the limit. well, yes. my neighbor did... and now she owns three mcdonald's. plus, mcdonald's gives out scholarships. and who wouldn't want that on their resume? shouldn't you two be taking a nap? mcdonald's -- deeply rooted in the community. hey, craig... one day, this will all be ours. ♪
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$1 billion in stimulus money
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is going to help law enforcement keep officers on the job. in wardenville, west virginia, that means saving half the police force. here's cnn's kate bolduan. >> reporter: officer rick burrows making the rounds in smalltown wardensville, west virginia, population 275. >> one mile from the west -- or the east end to the west end. and we have a variety of everything here. from, like i said, from petty theft to drugs. >> reporter: after 14 years in law enforcement, burrows faced certain unemployment, because of the economy and a budget shortfall. scottie miller is the town's mayor. >> if you don't have the money, you don't have the money. >> reporter: you were supposed to be laid off -- >> right. >> reporter: -- come july. that must have been rough. >> it was scary, yes, ma'am. >> reporter: the thing is burrows represents half the department. jeff driscoll is the police chief. >> small community, where you're talking about losing 50% of your department, 50% of your operational capacity, that's a
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lot. >> reporter: but, then, they say the stimulus came to the rescue. a $156,000 rescue for this rural community. wardensville is one of more than 1,000 agencies, a fraction of the total grant request, picked for a stimulus boost through the justice department program community-oriented policing services, known as c.o.p.s. but that smalltown assistance has some big city police departments complaining they were passed over. last month attorney general, eric holder, explained how agencies were selected. >> we received applications from more than 7,000 cities and towns, and made funding decisions based on crime rate, financial need and community policing activities. >> you want a sucker? >> uh-huh. thanks. >> two for the price of one today. there you go. >> reporter: and for a soft-spoken officer who admits he tries to fight more crime with sweets than with firepower, burrows said he's just glad this


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